Traveling with Elderly Parents

By: Jody Smith

Preparing to take a trip where you are the caregiver for a senior is like preparing for any trip only more so. The more you have made ready beforehand, the less you will have to juggle and handle at the last minute, while you are also helping your senior.

And of course there are two of you to plan for. You'll need to make sure you have travel insurance for the both of you. You will be making sure any medical needs are well outfitted before the day of departure. Both your daily meds and your senior's meds will need to be packed in such a way that they are within reach during your trip, and not at risk for being lost with any wayward luggage.

You and your senior should both be in to see your doctor well beforehand to be sure you are both in tip-top shape for travel, and to be sure that any and all prescriptions are filled and ready to go. Think about using transparent pill boxes and organizers to take any guess work out of whether or not you took the days' pills. Look into medical facilities and doctors that are in the area you are heading to. Learn about clinical hours and various types of availability, just in case.

When you make your list of emergency contact numbers, medication and/or allergy information, and doctor information, remember that you need to do the same for your senior. These lists should be kept close to your heart, or at least in your purse or pocket.

Make a nice, exhaustive list as to what you want to pack, for yourself and for your senior. This will save much spinning on the mental merry-go-round, and will be there to reassure you that you've got everything packed and ready to head home with at the end of the holiday. When you make these lists, don't pack everything you own, and the same goes for your senior. Remember, you have to cart this stuff with you, and you will be lugging for two. And also bear in mind that if your luggage weighs over the limit, it's going to cost more money as well.

When you reach your destination, take some time to recuperate from the trip. The scenery and activities will wait for you while you and your senior have a little snooze, or a bath, or read the paper. If you've traveled a long way and are in a different time zone or climate than you are used to, expect to go through some adjustment and go easy on yourselves.

If it makes you feel better about your own invincibility, you can always tell yourself you are doing this for your senior who needs the rest. Just an unexpected perk of traveling with someone who is more fragile than yourself. This will take care of their needs ... and you get to take care of your own as well.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Practical tips for senior travel

http://www.eldercarelink.com/Other-Resources/Caregiving/practical-tips-for-senior-travel.htm

Travel tips for caregivers

http://www.seniorsforliving.com/blog/2012/03/23/eldercarechat-32112-recap-travel-tips-for-caregivers

Caregivers Can Fly with their Dreams Too!

http://www.allaboutseniors.org/blog/adult-day-care-articles/caregivers-can-fly-with-their-dreams-too

Related Links:

Baby Boomers and Divorce

http://www.empowher.com/sex-amp-relationships/content/baby-boomers-and-divorce

Low Vision and the Elderly

http://www.empowher.com/eyes-amp-vision/content/low-vision-and-elderly

Senior Living Arrangements: When Living Alone is No Longer an Option

http://www.empowher.com/caregiving/content/senior-living-arrangements-when-living-alone-no-longer-option

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